Monday, March 2, 2015

In a statement released exclusively to Euronews, on Friday (February 27) Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated that this is the time for reforms in Greece; he noted that Europe, when there is political will, puts the common future of European people as a priority. He also welcomed the approval by the German parliament of a four-month extension for the loan agreement between Greece and its creditors.

Tsipras explained his reform plan; his government will start the relentless effort to end tax evasion and recover fiscal and social justice. "Our political will to make those not used to paying their own share is now being translated into action." He added that the new government intends to build an effective public administration with respect to citizens and the taxes they pay.

He also pointed out that vested interests attempting to control public administration and the economy will collapse. He added that “meritocracy, transparency, equal opportunities everywhere, with the appropriate social sensitivity and the rule of law, will be the trademark for the new Greece of tomorrow.”
Finally, the Greek PM noted that "We start working hard, in order to change Greece within a Europe that changes direction."

Tourism is a decisive factor and a great concern for all Greek stakeholders engaged in the industry. The Bank of Greece  recently published its annual report with the results of last year’s tourist activity, painting a favourable picture of the sector’s performance.

The year 2014 marked a record in terms of arrivals. Without including the cruise industry, Greece received 22 million travellers (twice its population) and €14 billion in tourist receipts. Compared to 2013, the figures mark an increase by 23% and 10% respectively. 

Among the different markets of Europeans visiting Greece, the French seem to have shown a greater interest in Greek destinations, raising the number of French travellers to Greece by nearly 30% (1.5 million people). Though the bar is set high, the target for 2015 has been set at 25 million visitors; that is probably feasible, given that the current 2014 figure of 22 million does not include cruise passengers who are expected to reach 2 million.

Enterprise Greece, together with InnovAthens will coordinate the Greek representation to the 2015 Mobile World Congress - The Edge of Innovation, which will take place in Barcelona, Spain, from March 2 to 5. The Greek mission’s goals were presented at the premises of InnovAthens, an entity fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, which is supported by the City of Athens.

With 85,000 attendees, 4,500 of whom are CEOs and 1,800 exhibitors (2014), Mobile World Congress is a prestigious event, attracting a large number of high-quality agents of the mobile industry. The Greek team’s motto is “Growing the Ecosystem” and is put under the auspices of the Hellenic Association of Mobile Application Companies. This is the third time Greece participates in the Congress with a national pavilion.

An ambitious project to encourage greater use of the Greek language at home by designating March 2015 as "Speak Greek" month was recently launched in Melbourne.

The campaign aims to establish March as the month when Greek Community members and organizations speak Greek and actively contribute to teaching the language to younger generations. Several events have been organized to achieve the campaign objectives, including lectures, book presentations, exhibitions and other activities that would provide ample opportunities for children and families to be immersed in the language.

"Speak Greek in March" will also promote Greek as one of the world’s oldest and richest languages that alongside Latin has contributed to the development of other modern languages. The campaign was launched on the occasion of the UN' International Mother Language Day, observed annually since 2000 on February 21, to promote linguistic and cultural diversity.

BART - Byzantine Arts Today, a Canadian non-profit organization founded with a mandate to advance byzantine arts education in North America held a special reception (February 25) in honour of artist Dr. George Kordis, who is renowned for his use of the Byzantine mode of painting in conjunction with contemporary artistic trends.

BART founders presented an art exhibition revealing the Byzantine mode of painting and art performance using digital technology. Moreover, with the launch of its summer programme in August, 2015 BART will unveil a series of educational programmes ranging from the ancient egg tempera technique to book binding. The reception was hosted by the Embassy of Greece in Canada.

See also: Embassy of Greece - Greece in Canada